Marathons in North Wales for 2022Published on 24 Jan 2022 by Amy Greenwood
If it’s your goal to get fit and see more of North Wales in 2022 then you can’t go wrong with one (or two) of these marathons in North Wales. There are plenty of running events and half marathons in North Wales to choose from. Here are five of the best that can be perfectly combined with a weekend getaway.
For many of us, getting a running event booked into the calendar is the best source of motivation to get out there and start training. Nothing encourages you to run like the fear of an upcoming race!
And, let’s be honest, sometimes we need a little motivation to book a weekend break too. Life is busy and it’s important to schedule things in advance to make sure they actually happen.
Running along any of these courses of marathons in North Wales is an absolute joy. OK, it’s a challenging joy but there’s no better place to run than along the North Wales coast, past famous castles, along sandy beaches and past tranquil canals!
The energy in these small towns and villages on race day is electric. The locals and visitors come together to cheer on the runners. Most half marathons also have a fun run before or after the main event, meaning the whole family can get involved and feel the endorphin rush as you cross the finish line.
Once the race is over and you’ve caught your breath, it’s time to relax and enjoy the surrounding countryside (and the local pub!) Don’t forget that the restaurants and cafes will be very busy on race day so book in advance because nothing tastes better than a burger and a cold pint after a tough run!
Whether you’re running for fun, aiming for a personal best or you need a run in the diary to encourage yourself to train, here are five of the best running events and half marathons in North Wales for 2022.
Distance: 13.1 miles or 10km
Best for: Getting a PB and fun atmosphere for the whole family
If you’re looking for a run with a dramatic start line then this is the one for you. Beginning on the incredible Menai Suspension Bridge, this half marathon or 10k race has a beautiful start…let’s just hope the ending is as pretty! Runners journey along the coastal road towards Beaumaris Castle. It’s known as a fast course so there’s always the chance of a PB!
This race attracts a supportive crowd thanks to the beautiful surrounds of the Snowdonia Mountains and the Menai Strait. Everyone wants to be outside to enjoy this event and cheer on the runners!
It’s suitable for all abilities and each run attracts a mixture of professional runners, experienced runners hoping for a PB, first-timers and fundraisers. There are prizes for the top 5 finishers and T-shirts for everyone who finishes the race.
There’s also a 1.2 mile ‘Dragon Dash’ suitable for children from the age of 5 so this race really can be a day out for the whole family. There are entertainers and food vendors to keep both the runners and non-runners happy all day.
Distance: 13.1 miles
Best for: A challenge
The Snowdonia Half Marathon is famously known as one of the most difficult half marathons in North Wales. The run starts and ends in Llanrwst. It takes runners on a journey up tough hills, rocky mountains, past serene glacial lakes, into majestic forests and through those stunning valleys Snowdonia is famous for.
The half marathon will be particularly special this year as it’s the 10th anniversary so expect something extra special for this challenging run.
All runners will receive a medal and a t-shirt and (provided there are no Covid restrictions) there will be light refreshments at the end including hot drinks, sandwiches and a well-earned slice of cake.
Following the race, enjoy some time in the pretty market town of Llanrwst. It will be buzzing with race-day energy so make the most of the cafes, pubs and restaurants in the village. Enjoy a trip to the castle and take a stroll to Y Bont Fawr, a pretty 17th century stone bridge crossing the River Conwy.
Best for: An off-road trail run
This beautiful 10km trail run takes runners off-road and along the scenic canal. It’s known as a quick but challenging 10k. The beautiful countryside surrounding you will undoubtedly be a welcome source of motivation!
The circular run starts and ends at the Tower Sports Field and is suitable for all abilities. A welcoming team of support staff, marshalls and cheering crowds to help first-time runners and pros alike.
All finishing runners receive a medal and a feed station will be waiting to welcome you at the end!
The bustling town of Llangollen is buzzing on race day with runners, supporters and tourists visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Following the race, join the tourists by grabbing an ice cream and wandering down to the river. If you have the energy, a visit to the Horseshoe Falls and the nearby Llantysilio Hall is well worth a trip to finish up your day!
Distance: 13.1 miles + a 2k Beach Blast
Best for: Combining with a beach holiday
If you fancy a challenge in a beautiful location then the Abersoch half marathon is the one for you. It’s a tough route thanks to a rather large hill but the course takes on roads, tracks, uphills, downhills and beautiful views all the way. The finish line is waiting on the stunning golden sands of Abersoch Beach where crowds of supporters will be cheering you on.
The atmosphere is electric in the village on the day of the half marathon. You’ll find campers and holidaymakers lining the country lanes and a great team of support staff are there every step of the way.
All finishers get a medal and there’s £1,000 worth of prize money too. Mars bars, bananas and energy drinks are handed out to the runners and refreshment stations are situated around the course.
There’s also a 2K Beach Blast on the morning of the half marathon. It’s a fun race open to all the family and is a great run to get little ones involved with the day.
Distance: 13.1 miles + 1 mile fun run
Best for: A scenic run
The Conwy Half Marathon was voted in the top 5 most scenic half marathons in the UK by Readers of Runners World!
It’s not surprising this gorgeous route has such a title with the trail taking you along the Conwy River towards Llandudno Pier. Runners journey around the iconic Great Orme and enjoy views looking over to Anglesey and Puffin Island. And let’s not forget that the runners start and end at Conwy Castle, a 700 year old castle on the Quayside.
There are monetary prizes for the first, second and third runners in male and female categories and all finishers will get a medal.
This is part of the 4 Castles Medal Series, four half marathons in North Wales which also include the Snowdon, Bangor and Caernarfon races. Runners who complete all four runs will receive the specially commissioned four castles series medal holder!
There is also a family-friendly 1 mile fun run on the morning of the race. It’s open to all ages and all runners get a t-shirt and a medal.
It’s also worth noting that this is one of the latest half marathons in North Wales for the season, giving you extra time to train for this one!